A sister’s love and attachment to her imprisoned brother is put to the test as she works to put herself through law school in an effort to free him while raising a family in Tony Goldwyn’s new film Conviction. The film, which stars Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell, is based on the remarkable real-life ordeal of Betty Anne Waters and, at its core, is an untraditional love story between siblings.
Conviction is really an actor’s film and Goldwyn, the actor-turned-director (best known for his role as the corporate villain in Ghost) does a wonderful job of eliciting great performances while using the plotline to pull at the heartstrings without ever feeling corny. Sam Rockwell’s Oscar-worthy performance in this film is captivating as he balances rage and misery with charm and charisma into the truly fleshed-out character of Kenny Waters. The supporting cast is also well-seasoned as it features Minnie Driver, Peter Gallagher, Melissa Leo, and notably Juliette Lewis, who is truly dynamic in her brief appearances onscreen.
The film’s depiction of families and the modern justice system is quite reflective of the times we live in. While the film has a Hollywood feel, it manages to retains some real grit to it and should appeal to both men and women.